You’re a critical member of the Arlington Public Schools family, but if you aren’t prepared, safe, and secure who is?  Just like determining your safest and most efficient route to work , it’s all about being prepared.  Review the resources on this page to learn more about the programs and services Arlington Public Schools provides to Employees.  Need an safety, security, risk and emergency management buddy?  Contact Administrative Services if you have any questions. Not an employee?  Don’t worry, we’ve prepared resources for everyone in the Arlington Public Schools Family.  Visit our home page here to find your audience appropriate page.

Be Informed 

APS Alert – School Talk
School Talk is Arlington Public Schools emergency notification and communication system that is used to send emergency notification and timely information to students and parents at each individual school. Visit WEB ADDRESS today to maintain your information to receive alerts from APS Alert – School Talk.

Arlington Alert
Arlington Alert is an alert system that allows the County to contact you during an emergency.  Employees are encouraged to sign up for Arlington Alert here.  Arlington Alert allows you to choose how to be notified during an emergency, pick what notifications you want to receive, and specific particular times during the day you would prefer not to receive notifications.

Be Ready

Emergency Signage
In addition to lighted EXIT signs in every school, additional signage is posted that we recommend you become familiar with to be prepared for emergencies.

Emergency Procedures Posters
Large blue and yellow Emergency Procedures posters (PDF) are posted throughout schools.  These posters provide basic guidance on how to respond to potential emergencies on campus.

Evacuation Plans
Indicate primary and alternate exit routes, the location of emergency equipment and provide the physical address of each building.

Area of Refuge
Indicate areas in which individuals who are unable to evacuate are taken to await emergency personnel to be safely evacuated from the school.

Emergency Equipment
Schools within the Arlington Public School District are equipped with emergency equipment including but not limited to; fire extinguishers, automated external defibrillators (AED), and first aid kits.  Clinic staff may have additional equipment to address basic life support medical concerns.

Emergency Procedures Manual
Administrative Services provides an emergency procedures manual for employees.  This resource contains information on how to prepare for and respond to emergencies that may occur at an Arlington Public School facility, to include: building evacuation, severe weather, shelter-in-place, lockdown, violence, national/regional emergency, medical emergency, and emergency contact information.  Administrative Services will deliver manuals upon request to administrators and teachers upon request.  Please contact Administrative Services to place a request.

Personal Emergency Kits
During emergencies, resource availability may be limited and environmental conditions may change established patterns.  Members of the Arlington Public Schools family should have an emergency kit at home, at work and in their personal vehicle.  Our locations have kits you should too.  For instructions on how to build your own emergency kit and suggestions for what to include, visit readyvirginia.gov.

Emergency Management
Arlington Public Schools maintains a comprehensive Emergency Management program.  In an emergency, teachers and administrators convene and utilize emergency plans to coordinate response activities and provide support to local responders and those impacted by the emergency.  Plans are designed to protect students, employees and visitors.

Departmental/School Preparedness 

Administrative Services provides training and consultation on how to prepare your work area for emergencies that may occur.  Departments/Schools may request training by contacting Administrative Services.  During this workshop, Administrative Services will assist your department/school reviewing emergency response procedures, assistance in registering cell phones with Arlington Alert, and information about the districts strategic plan for Safety, Security, Emergency and Risk Management.

Continuity of Operations Planning
Arlington Public Schools will be embarking on a Continuity of Operations Plan cycle, which provides framework to minimize potential impact and allow for rapid recovery from an incident that disrupts operations.  Administrative Services will begin this process in the 2019-2020 School Year.  This process will include administrative units, schools and operational units.

Depending on the nature of your work, you may be required to attend training after joining the Arlington Public Schools family.  Administrative Services and Facilities & Operations provide a wide range of training topics that are both required or optional for employees.  To learn more about training that is offered contact Administrative Services or Facilities & Operations or access ERO.

DCJS School Safety Survey – Annual
Each year the Virginia Department of Criminal Justice Services requires that schools complete a school safety survey.  Instructions are provided to Principals and Assistant Principals in August on the completion of the survey.  Results are maintained on file per the Code of Virginia and can be accessed by Arlington Public Schools employees here.

Emergency Response Information 

You will be notified of an emergency within the district via public address (PA), APS Alert – School Talk, Arlington Alert, or by an administrator.  When notified of an emergency, it is important to remain calm and follow any instructions you receive from teachers, administrators, and emergency responders.  During emergencies, cell phone towers are frequently overwhelmed by large call volume which may prevent others from calling for help.  If possible, use text messaging to communicate during emergencies to leave phone lines open for those who need them most. 

Public Safety
Arlington Public Schools maintains a collaborative relationship with Arlington County Police Department and Arlington County Fire & Rescue to provide a safe and secure environment at our schools.  Police, Fire & Rescue, and school administrators meet on a regular basis to discuss emergency response to individual schools.

Recreation (Athletic) Facilities
Recreational facilities (e.g., aquatics, field space, etc…) are provided in partnership with Arlington County Parks and Recreation Department.  Wakefield Stadium Track and Washington-Lee High School Track are closed during all high school games, track meets, district, regional and state tournaments, and county-sponsored events.  For a complete listing of all aquatic rules and regulations please visit here.


Fire Drill
Fire Drills are conducted at each school in accordance with the Arlington County Fire Code, Virginia Statewide Fire Prevention Code, and Department of Education Standards for Accreditation.  Drills are held in all buildings and are unannounced.  Fire drills are conducted one per week during the first month of school and at least one fire drill each month for the remainder of the school year. 

Lockdown Drill
Lockdown Drills are conducted at each school in accordance with Code of Virginia and Department of Education Standards for Accreditation.  Drills are held in all buildings can be announced or unannounced.  Lockdown drills are required to be conducted twice during the first 20 days of school and two additional during the remainder of the year, of which one must be held in January.  Lockdown drills are in compliance with the Arlington County Fire Code and the Virginia Statewide Fire Prevention Code.

Tornado Drill
Each year, Arlington Public Schools participates in the statewide Tornado Drill.  This drill is designed to promote awareness of tornado and severe weather response procedures.  The drill is announced via School Talk and internal public-address systems at each school.  Participation is required and does not interfere with classroom instruction.

Earthquake Drill
September of each year, Arlington Public Schools participates in the Great Southeast Shakeout Earthquake Drill.  This drill is designed to promote awareness of earthquake response procedures.  The drill is announced via School Talk and internal public-address systems at each school.  Participation is required and does not interfere with classroom instruction.